Speech by parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP demonstration against illegal Indonesia immigrants in Johore Bahru at the Railway Station on Thursday, Oct. 8, 1987 at 10.30 a.m.
Johore Planters Association should not sacrifice national interests and the future of Malaysians and generations to come just to make profits from exploitation of illegal Indonesia immigrants.
It is most shocking that while Malaysians throughout the country are calling on the government to take firm action to end the grace problem of the million-odd illegal Indonesia immigrants in the country, and the threat they pose to the lives, property and rights of Malaysians, the Johore Planters Association should come out calling for the granting of expatriate status to the illegals to legalise their stay.
The DAP warns the Johore Planters Association that it must be nationalists, and must not sacrifice national interest and the future of Malaysians and generations to come just to make profits from exploitation of illegal Indonesia immigrants.
The planters in fact must bear responsibility for the crimes committed by the illegal Indonesia immigrant – the rape, robberies and murders – for it is the initial sanctuary provided to them in the estates by the planters that these illegals could subsequently came out to towns to carry out their criminal activities.
I call on all members of the Johore Planters Association to search their conscience as to whether they should give priority to national interest, or to their profit-lines.
I concede that planters and estates face grave labour problem, but these problems must be resolved in the national context and without sacrificing the short-term, medium and long-term rights and interests of Malaysians, whether in law-or-order, economic, political or citizenship field.
I want to ask the Johore Planters Association Chairman, Leong Heng Khoon, who last week called on the government to give expatriate status to the illegal Indonesia immigrants to legalise their stay, and stop actions to deport them, as to whether he would hold the same view, if his close and near family members are victims of crimes by illegal Indonesia immigrants – whether rape, robbery or murder?
Unless the short and long-term interest and rights of Malaysians, in political, economic, law and order and citizenship fields could be protected, then all illegal Indonesia immigrants should be deported even if this would cause disruptions in the labour situation in estate which had come to depend heavily on illegal Indonesian immigrants.
Planters like Leong Heng Khoon should realise that the presence of illegal Indonesia immigrants can be the cause future inter-ethnic conflict.
Last August, in a workshop on Labour migration, University of Malaya Arts and Social Science Faculty lecturer, Associate Professor Azizah Kassim, said the illegal immigrants were already causing problems for the locals in both the informal and formal employment sectors.
She warned that the illegal Indonesia immigrants, who competed with each other and with the lower-income Malaysians in the cities for jobs and houses, are sowing the seeds of future racial conflict; and if these immigrants are allowed to stay on and proliferate, they would only worsen racial tensions in the country.
For this reason, she gave support to the call for tough measures to stop the inflow of the illegal Indonesia immigrants.
Call on Prime Minister, Datuk Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to explain what action ha been taken on the 35,000-signature memorandum by the Johore Bahru Chinese Associations demanding action against illegals
About three months ago, the Johore Bahru Chinese Associations collected 35,000 signature for their memorandum to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, demanding government action against the illegal Indonesia immigrants, after a spate of horrendous crimes by the illegals.
Dr.Mahathir should explain what action the government has taken on this memorandum by the people of Johore Bahru.
As a copy of the memorandum had also been sent to the Inspector General of Police, the people have the right to expect effective measures to deal with this long-standing problem. Otherwise, if in Johore Bahru, the illegal Indonesia immigrants again go on a rampage, commiting crimes of robbery, rape and murder, then the Police and Ministry of Home Affairs would have failed in their duty to protect the life, property and home of Malaysia.